Indian data center firm Nxtra Data is to deploy hydrogen fuel cells at one of its facilities.

The data center unit of Bharti Airtel has partnered with Bloom Energy to deploy a fuel cell installation at its data center in Karnataka. Details about which facility and the size of installation weren't shared.

Bloom Energy
A Bloom Energy deployment – Bloom Energy

Nxtra will reportedly be the first data center company in India to deploy fuel cell technology.

Rajesh Tapadia, chief operating officer at Nxtra, said: “With an ambition to reach net zero by 2031, we have embarked on our sustainability journey by making all possible efforts to adopt innovative energy solutions.”

“Bloom Energy’s technology is distinctly capable of helping India meet its decarbonization objectives as it transitions to a hydrogen economy,” said Tim Schweikert, senior managing director, international business development, Bloom Energy. "We are proud to collaborate with Nxtra to support them in their pursuit of using clean, reliable and affordable power for their data centers.”

The company plans to start the unit on non-combusted natural gas and then switch to 50 percent hydrogen in future. The natural gas-powered cells will be used for primary generation with utility electrical grid and generators as backup sources.

Nxtra has two main facilities in Karnataka, located in the region’s capital, Bengaluru (formerly known as Bangalore). Bengaluru 1 is a 2,000-rack facility offering 5.5MW of capacity; the upcoming Bengaluru II will offer capacity for 5,000 racks across 450,000 sq ft and 40MW of power. The company also has Edge locations in Bengaluru, Hosur, Mysore, and Mangaluru.

Bloom has fuel cell deployments at data centers operated by Equinix, Teledata, and CenturyLink.

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